As we are fully immersed in the food world, this is a topic of discussion comes up all the time. I firmly believe that if we truly want to make a change in our food system - the way it is grown, produced, delivered, consumed, we should direct our focus on children. Most adults have been convinced that cooking is too much work, they have no training, and don't know where to start, and surprisingly many are too afraid to even try. Kids, on the other hand, tend to be far less fearful and so easily thrilled with even the simplest meal they create. That is powerful, because that means all we need to do is start the teaching process with them and they can take it from there. I believe that if we can teach young children basic cooking skills, we can change the food world. You parents who bring your children up for farm visits know. You see first hand the excitement in their eyes when you let them loose in the strawberry field. So it is because of these observations and my passionate commitment, that Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp days on the farm are always my absolute favorite. When I take the young campers out for a tour, or talk to them in the garden, bring a group into the kitchen to make yeast dough bread rolls for dinner, I know, without a doubt I am making a difference.
This past weekend we had a Bay Leaf Kitchen work day on the farm. A group came up to clean up the event area, rearrange and set up a better kitchen space. But even more exciting is the splash zone they built in the far corner of the garden. Just under the trees, they put up a teepee, covered it with shade cloth, hung some misters and put the giant round water trough under it all. Now when we have events, the kids (big and small) have an amazing place to go cool down a bit, and play in the water.
Bay Leaf has 5 sessions this summer, including a new camp for teens. Each week-long camp includes an overnight up here on the farm, guest chefs, and invaluable training and opportunities to learn about where their food comes from and how it is grown. The sessions are not yet full, so if you have children, or know children, please take a look at the schedule. I really hope we see many of our young CSA members up here this summer! For more information please visit www.Bayleafkitchen.org. -Lorraine